The Weekly Reflektion 49/2022

When we are thinking about our Reflektions and especially what to write about next week, we are seldom short on material on accidents and incidents. There are unfortunately many ‘good’ examples of Major Accidents that we can use. The challenge is to find the right context and ensure there are relevant points that our readers can learn from. We try to compile our Reflektions on the basis of what the reader can take in and reflect over rather than just conveying what we know about the incident. Finding the right medium and form for communication is a key factor in learning. The progression of technology has given us many opportunities to enhance the learning process. Let’s use them.

Do you make your learning processes entertaining?

Disney’s Steamboat Willie released in 1928, was a landmark in the history of animation. The first film starring Mickey Mouse to be released with synchronized sound, it threw silent animation into obsolescence and launched an empire. Previously, there had been little to distinguish Disney’s cartoons from those of his competitors. The development of animation from Steamboat Willie to the animation films of today has been amazing.  Today the combination of animation and life actors gives a whole new viewing experience. The latest Avatar film utilizes 60% Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) technology using real people, and 40% traditional animation. The power of animation to entertain is also a power to be harnessed in learning and experienced transfer. The term ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ is attributed to Frederick R. Barnard in Printers Ink (December 1921). The power of consecutive pictures in a coherent story should therefore be worth more than the words in a safety flash or one pager attached to an email.

The petroleum industry has used animations in the presentations of accidents and incidents. Mærsk Drilling produced an animation to promote learning from a fatality on the Mærsk Interceptor 7th December 2017. The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) uses animations to promote learning from well control incidents. IOGP also produces animations on issues related to well control using scenarios and role playing. One of the animations on ‘weak signals’ highlights the challenges associated with communication and how information exchanged by the participants is perceived differently by the sender and receiver. Also, how individual packets of information are in themselves not concerning however put together they indicate an escalating problem.

The purpose of communicating experience from incidents is that the people receiving the information will learn and will do something different if they are in the same situation as the people involved in the incident. Something different could be related to the planning and preparation of an activity or its execution. The communication therefore has to be tailored to the receiver and the traditional safety flashes and ‘one pagers’ may not be best medium to convey the message. What will make the receiver be interested and attentive and help the receiver with what, how and why? What is needed to communicate the context so that the actions taken by people involved in the incident can be understood?

We need to use the same techniques for promoting learning as we use for entertainment. Animation is a well-established entertainment technique. Technology and techniques in the digital world make animation surprisingly cheap even for complicated stories. So, let us entertain them.

Reflekt AS